In response to some comments and questions:
Q: Have you tried the 2930 at 480p to the display? This might help to clarify if the 'microblocking' you speak of is being introduced by the scaling of the Reon
A: No. Don't think the Reon actually does the scaling - I think it deinterlaces, has optional "ehnancement" (sharpening, I believe), and some noise reduction options (MPEG and random - random, btw, is decent). But the point is to isolate where this here-for-to unseen micro-blocking is coming from (assuming it is not purely source material artifacts that were masked). Not a bad idea. I might trying disabling everything and simply feeding 480i through the HDMI (start out with the REON not deinterlacing either).
Q: do you have a 3rd DVD player (non faroudja) that you could compare?
A: Yes and no. My 3rd is a Panasonic S97 which is used on a smaller, less critical display. It uses a faroudja implementation but with different firmware. It has plenty of other issues (compared to a mid/high end player - it's "kick butt" for under $300) but actually VERY little MB. I do not recall any of the shimmering - but haven't hooked it into this bigger display to compare. Will do that.
C: I would imagine that SO would not put out a chip that won't pass it's own "torture test" benchmark disc.
R: I'm sure you are right. My bet is that all the algorithms they did port and hard-code are, largely, identical. It is probably more the combined implementation of all the pieces. Having said that, the idea was, in part, to drive cost out of this chip. I suspect it runs at a much slower clock speed - and, as such, some operations - in their performance optimized complexity - may simply not have been feasible on this chip without changes. I work at a very large electronics manufacturer and it can easily take a 6-18 months after production starts to ring out all the bugs AND optimize performance. We see that all the time.
Lastly - coming back to this issue of what you were used to....I suspect when I got the 2910, I was looking at it with far less critical eyes. Getting the 2930, expectations were very high and I began more critically. The A/B between the two will be really key (especially now that my expectations are recalibrated).